New notices of default at the nation's private mortgage insurers far outpaced cures in May, ending a run of three months where the opposite was the case, according to the latest data from the Mortgage Insurance Cos. of America (MICA).

The cure/default ratio for May was 80.6%, compared with 106.1% in April and 108.4% for May 2010. There were 36,159 cures reported, by far the lowest so far this year and 44,853 new defaults; other than for January, MICA data no longer includes numbers from United Guaranty Corp.

There was $3.9 billion of new primary new insurance written in May, of which $3.9 million came through the bulk channel. This compares with $3.7 billion in April.

In what might be a sign of good news for the industry the 23,810 new applications received during the month was the highest total so far this year (not taking into account January's data). In April there were 20,733 applications received.

However the run-off of primary insurance in force continues at its pace of approximately $5 billion per month, as the total dropped to $610.8 billion in May from $615.7 billion in April.

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